Jacqueline Fernandez, the Hindi actor and former Miss Sri Lanka, was deboarded from a flight by immigration officials at the Mumbai airport on Sunday due to a Look Out Circular (LOC) issued against her by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the ongoing Rs 200 crore money laundering case.
The actor was later allowed to leave Mumbai the same evening.
The ED is probing the case, which is based on a FIR filed by Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing against conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar and others over alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating, and extortion of about Rs 200 crore. The agency has seized a sea-facing bungalow in Chennai, along with Rs 82.5 lakh in cash and over a dozen luxury cars, in connection with the case.
In August, Fernandez was questioned by ED as a witness in the case for over five hours in Delhi. She was considered to be one of many victims in the Rs 200 crore scam.
Chandrasekhar, who was arrested in 2017 for attempting to bribe the Election Commission, was allegedly running the extortion racket from behind bars. The ED said he had, with a cellphone procured illegally in prison, made calls to dupe multiple people by impersonating senior government officers and offering to “help them” for a price. Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh’s wife, Aditi Singh, was one of those cheated in this manner. She informed the police that in June 20202, a man pretending to be a senior official of the law ministry had offered to help her secure bail for her husband, who was arrested in a money laundering case, in return for money.
Fernandez was again questioned by the ED in October for over seven hours.
Later that month, Chandrashekhar’s lawyer alleged that the actor was dating the conman, which her spokesperson denied.
Meanwhile, pictures of Fernandez kissing Chandrashekhar, reportedly dating back to April-June when the latter was out on interim bail, recently went viral. Chandrashekhar had allegedly arranged for a private jet for the actor to meet him around four times in Chennai during this period. Fernandez has so far not issued any statements on these reports.
According to an NDTV report, Fernandez was leaving for Dubai for a show on Sunday when she was stopped and questioned briefly at Mumbai airport. The authorities had acted on an LOC issued by the ED with directions that she should not be permitted to leave India.
While she was allowed to leave later, the actor was told she would have to appear before the agency in Delhi. The ED was to issue fresh summons to Fernandez for appearing at their Delhi office on Monday, as per the report.
Chandrashekhar is currently in judicial custody along with his wife, Malayalam actor Leena Maria Paul. On Saturday, the Patiala House Court took cognizance of ED’s chargesheet filed against Chandrashekhar, Paul, and others.